Norwich City handed fitness boost ahead of Newcastle United clash as Magpies linked with £100million French duo

The Canaries have been handed a major fitness boost ahead of the visit of Newcastle United.

By Joe Buck
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 4:44 pm

Here, we round-up all the latest stories that have emerged today from St James’s Park and beyond:

Dean Smith on Norwich injuries

Norwich City boss Dean Smith has revealed that midfielder Kenny McClean could be available to face Newcastle on Saturday, despite fracturing his toe:

"Kenny [McLean] has got a small fracture in his toe, but he should be okay, he is training today and hopefully he will get through that and play tomorrow.” Smith told Norfolk Live.

"Pierre [Lees-Melou] is okay, he just had a bit of cramp at the end at Manchester United so he is fine to play.

“Josh Sargent will be okay for Aston Villa next week but not this week. He starts training on Monday.

"Lukas Rupp is the only one who has pulled out. He has got pain behind the knee at the moment so he pulled out of training (Thursday). I don't believe it is serious, he has just been having a couple of niggles lately that has kept him out of a few squads."

Norwich City midfielder Kenny McLean should be fit to face Newcastle United (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

A win for the hosts tomorrow could see them leapfrog Watford in the table and go within five points of safety.

NUFC ‘eye’ French duo

According to Footmercato, Moussa Diaby and Benoit Badiashile are both reported transfer targets for Newcastle United this summer after the pair have impressed in the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 respectively.

For Bayer Leverkusen this season, Diaby has directly contributed to 21 goals this season - a total only beaten by Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Christopher Nkunku.

His return of twelve goals and nine assists is by far his best season to-date and the 22-year-old, who has been capped five times by France, is quickly becoming one of Europe’s hottest prospects.

Badiashile, who was reportedly being eyed by Newcastle for a move in the winter window, has also continued to impress this season after recovering from a hamstring injury which had sidelined him earlier this year.

Both Diaby and Badiashile would likely cost in excess of £50million each and so a move for both of them in summer is unlikely, however, there’s no doubting that either player would be an exciting addition to Eddie Howe’s squad.